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What can the Finger Lakes expect this winter? NOAA predicts influence of strong El Niño

  • / Updated:
  • Staff Report 

As winter approaches the Finger Lakes region, forecasters from NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center shed light on what might lie ahead, emphasizing a potentially dominant El Niño effect. Their predictions align with other prominent forecasting bodies such as AccuWeather, the Farmers’ Almanac, and The Old Farmer’s Almanac, all hinting at a significant winter impact.

Finger Lakes Partners (Billboard)

According to the Climate Prediction Center, New York should brace for “above normal” temperatures from December through February, with areas like Rochester and Buffalo likely experiencing drier conditions. However, not all regions are unified in their forecast; some parts of the state show “equal chances” for precipitation. On a broader scale, the northern U.S. is expected to have a milder, drier winter, while the southeast might experience wetter conditions.

The critical factor driving these predictions is the El Niño climate pattern, which impacts weather patterns globally. This year’s El Niño commenced in June and is expected to persist throughout winter, with its strength potentially matching historic patterns from 2015-16 and 1997-98. Although the NOAA forecast provides general temperature and precipitation trends, specifics regarding snow or rain amounts remain unpredictable, largely hinging on the power and trajectory of individual winter storms.